Date of Graduation

Spring 2014


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Jun Luo


accessibility, primary care, floating catchment area methods, geospatial, Springfield metropolitan area

Subject Categories

Medical Sciences | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


Accessibility is an important concept in geography and geospatial science. Planners and developers want to ensure facilities are built in areas of need. The concept is essential in the planning and analysis of necessary services such as health care, transportation, and food. Health care is an essential service for any population, which is why many accessibility studies have focused on this need. The purpose of this study was to perform accessibility analysis on the Springfield Metropolitan area to identify areas of poor accessibility to primary care physicians. This study provides valuable information for city planners or policy makers in the health care field. Physician location and population data were combined with road networks to analyze accessibility using a three-step floating catchment area (3SFCA) method. A GIS tool was coded in Python to implement the 3FSCA. The results of this study show how accessibility changes across the entire Springfield Metropolitan area in relation to socioeconomic and demographic factors and, identify areas of poor accessibility. These results add to the research that has already been done in other areas of the United States, providing a new study area and demographic to compare with previous and future accessibility studies. These results have identified possible physician shortage areas in the Springfield Metropolitan area, and found correlations between spatial accessibility and socioeconomic and demographic factors.


© Alex Edward Turner

Campus Only